Dry January: Two surprising health benefits of cutting booze for a month – ‘brain boost’

Many people will have made the resolution to stop drinking alcohol throughout the month of January, with millions of people expected to be taking part to start 2022 in a healthier fashion. Though for some this may be challenging, you are likely to reap a multitude of health benefits. Some may be more well known, such as losing weight and reducing high blood pressure, but there are also a number of more surprising ones.

Doctor Ross Perry GP and Medical Director of Cosmedics and alcohol therapists Lisa and Alex from Bee Sober have outlined a number of health benefits.

They suggested: “Your sleep pattern becomes more regulated after five to seven days meaning you’ll wake up with more energy and skin looks clearer.”

The experts added: “After two weeks you will notice a huge improvement in overall sleep pattern as your body becomes more regulated.”

Moreover, you are more likely to have “better brain function following a good night’s sleep” they suggest.

READ MORE: Cancer: Popular British drink is ‘strong’ toxin that causes uncontrollable cell growth

The health experts note that after a month of not drinking alcohol, sleep will be regulated and “you will most certainly feel well rested”.

They explained: “Brain function and productivity will have increased and you’ll generally feel better overall in yourself.”

Indeed, the team at Delamere added that stepping away from alcohol can aid your sleep, contrary to the belief some people have that alcohol aids sleep.

They noted: “Alcohol is often used as a sleeping aid to help you drift off, but despite helping to relax you, drinking in excess can affect the quality and pattern of your sleep due to headaches, dehydration and an increased need to urinate.”

Indeed, the NHS notes: “Drinking can affect your sleep. Although it can help some people fall asleep quickly, it can disrupt your sleep patterns and stop you sleeping deeply.

“So cutting down on alcohol should help you feel more rested when you wake up.”

The health service adds: “Cutting back on the booze can be a really effective way to improve your health, boost your energy, lose weight and save money.

“Any reduction in the amount you drink every week will be beneficial – and with the right help, it’s easier than you think.”

“When you give up alcohol during Dry January, you will often find that your quality of sleep will be better, without frequent interruptions.

“This in turn will mean you have more energy to spend on other activities instead of waking up feeling groggy after heavy drinking the night before.

Mark Shelton, Optometrist and Clinical Development Coach at Bayfields Opticians and Audiologists, said that stopping drinking may also improve eye health.

He said: “Some studies suggest that having more than three alcoholic drinks a day can have more longer-term consequences on a person’s vision, increasing your risk of developing age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which can cause the individual to lose focus in their central field of vision.”

He added: “There are also some studies which suggest that excessive drinking can lead to an increased risk of cataracts, which is a condition that makes the clear lens of the eye go cloudy or opaque.”

Mark noted that your eyes can provide clues to your general health and wellbeing too.

“People who complete Dry January – or go even longer without booze – may well find their eyes look brighter and feel more comfortable,” he said.

Mark added: “The whites of the eye, known as the sclera, should be white in colour. If they look yellow it could be a sign of jaundice, which means the liver, gallbladder and bile ducts aren’t working properly.”

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